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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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With your help, students like Qais gain the skills they need to tell their story and give us a broader understanding of the world.

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Information for New Graduate Students

Congratulations and Welcome!

We at Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are delighted to have you join us for your graduate degree studies. We hope that you will find your time here enjoyable, stimulating, rewarding and successful. Before you arrive on campus, we would like to share the following information with you to make the transition to our school as smooth as possible.

Before Arrival on Campus

Each student, admitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, is responsible for becoming familiar with the general regulations of the Graduate School as stated in the “Policies” section of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin and with the more specific requirements stated in the individual section on each department, division, or program which may go beyond, or supplement, the Graduate School standards.

If necessary, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences staff is available to interpret or clarify any rule or regulation.

Boston University does not permit a student to enroll simultaneously in more than one graduate program either within Boston University or at another institution, unless those programs have been previously approved by the Trustees of Boston University as a combined degree program.

Please refer to the Registrar’s website for compliance requirements.

Check the Student Link to ensure you have met these requirements. Students not in compliance will be unable to register for future semesters.

Information Services and Technology (IS&T) will be sending an email with instructions on accessing Boston University’s Early Access Program.  This program allows incoming students to create a BU email account and allows early access to some online services.  If you do not receive this email, please contact IS&T directly at 617-353-2780 or at

Please visit the BU Student Health Services website for important information regarding required medical forms and immunizations.

Student Health Services

Please make sure that all your previous degrees are accurately reflected on your record. You can verify this information on your account using the following instructions:

  • From the StudentLink homepage, select the Academics tab
  • On the Academics page, select “Diploma and Graduation Information”
  • On this page, all your previous degrees should be listed.

If you have submitted your final transcript(s) with the degree conferred or awarded, but do not see this information reflected on your StudentLink account, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Office at 617-353-2696 for more information.

If you have not submitted your final transcript(s) in sealed envelopes from your institution as requested in your admission letter, please bring the transcript(s) to the Graduate School Admissions Office as soon as possible so that we can update your record to reflect all previous degrees conferred. We are located at 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112.

Please note that if you received your degree from a Chinese institution, you must submit your degree certificates in the sealed envelope from your institution. If you are not able to request your institution send the degree certificates in a sealed envelope, you will need to send the degree certificates through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC).

We can just about guarantee you’ll make extensive use of Boston’s rapid transit system (the MBTA, or simply, “the T”) while you are a student at BU.

Boston University is located at several stops along the Boston College branch (B Line) of the Green Line.

Schedules and fares

The MBTA’s Spring Semester Pass Program allows students to pre-pay for their four monthly “T” passes (February through May) and thereby save approximately 11% off the regular monthly “T” pass price. The deadline for the Spring 2015 Semester Pass Program is 4PM EST on January 9, 2015.

After Arrival on Campus

Registration for new students will take place at your academic department of admission.  You will be notified by your department regarding the dates and times of advising and registration.  Most departments will register students during the two weeks prior to the start of the semester.  Incoming GRS students are not allowed to register before meeting with department staff.  Registration instructions will be provided at the department.  Please note that you will not receive registration information through the mail.  If you do not receive information regarding dates of advising and departmental orientation sessions from your department prior to August 1, 2016, please contact your department directly.

Please refer to the PhD Registration Website or the Master’s Registration Website for registration specific instructions.

A complete academic calendar for the 2016-2017 Academic Year can be viewed on the Registrar’s website.

Students are reminded that, in accordance with the Code of Student Responsibilities (Appendix 15), current addresses must be on file with the University. We ask that you provide this information via the University’s online Student Link. Please be advised that addresses will not be updated from information provided on the registration form.

The home address currently on file for you is the permanent address provided on your application for admission. Local addresses should be updated once you have located housing in the Boston area. If your name or Social Security number has changed or is incorrect, these can be updated at the Office of the University Registrar at 881 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor.  This information cannot be changed using the Student Link.

International students are required to check in with the International Students and Scholars Office after arriving on campus. For information about new student orientation offered by the ISSO, check this website.

Should you have any problems or questions about your visa status, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office at 888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA  02215 (Tel: 617-353-3565 or email: before coming to the Graduate School.  You will not be allowed to register unless you have been cleared for admission by the International Students and Scholars Office.

Once registered, you can view your student account on the StudentLink.

Payment should be submitted to the Student Accounting Services Office, not the Graduate School Office.

For more information, contact Student Accounting Services.

Payment Deadlines

Please visit the Student Accounting Services site regarding Medical Insurance. This site provides important information about the BU Medical Insurance Plan, comparable insurance requirements and waiver of the BU Medical Insurance Plan. Part-time students and dependents of full-time students may choose to enroll in the medical insurance plan offered through Boston University.

All Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students are required to complete the settlement process to be officially registered each semester.  A student will be charged a late fee if the account is not paid/settled by the payment deadline.  The payment deadline for Fall 2016 is Monday, September 19, 2016. For more information regarding loans, external funding sources and more, please visit the Financial Aid website.

Payment/Settlement Procedures

Students awarded Teaching Fellowships or Doctoral Research Assistantships will receive their stipend payments each Friday beginning the 2nd week of classes.  The payments will be available at the Student Employment Office.  After receiving the first payment, students are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit via the Student Link.  By federal law, all employers must verify the employment eligibility of their new employees, including student employees.  All entering graduate students who have been awarded a Teaching Fellowship or Doctoral Research Assistantship are required to provide documentation for payroll purposes.  You will need to present the appropriate documents considered acceptable by the U.S. Congress for employment in the U.S.  This documentation must be presented to the administrative assistant in your academic department.  Documents must be verified within the first three working days of employment.  You will be asked to complete an Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9).  If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., please present the documentation, in person, to the University’s International Students and Scholars Office.  Problems or questions concerning financial aid should be directed to the Graduate School Financial Aid Office, 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112, Boston, MA 02215 (Tel: 617-353-2696 or email:

Dean’s Fellows, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Fellows, Metcalf Fellows, Judaic Studies Fellows, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows will receive stipend payments in four installments each semester.  The checks will be available at the Student Employment Office on the fourth Friday of each month, beginning in September.  After receiving the first payment, students are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit via the Student Link.

Tuition and fees for the 2016-17 academic year are as follows:

Tuition (12 – 18 credit hours)  —  $24,588/semester
Student Services Fee  —  $156/semester
Health & Wellness Fee  —  $199/semester
Medical Insurance  —  $1,945*

Tuition (2 – 11.5 credit hours)  —  $1,537/credit hour
Student Services Fee  —  $60/semester

*This cost is for the annual Student BASIC plan for the 2015-16 Academic Year.  The 2016-17 Academic Year cost will be published soon.  Medical insurance coverage extends from August 23, 2016 through August 22, 2017 for those admitted in the Fall Semester.  Coverage extends from January 1, 2017 through August 22, 2017 for those admitted for the Spring Semester.  Please note that coverage takes effect once registration has been processed.

Information on withdrawal and tuition refunds for Fall 2016 can be found at the following here. This information is important if you find that you are unable to attend classes but have registered.

A more complete listing of the University’s tuition and fees, as well as explanations of certain fees can be viewed on the Registrar’s website.

To waive the medical insurance, please see the Student Accounting Services website.

If you did not enter your Social Security number on the application form, please contact the GRS Financial Aid office ( to go through the process of submitting this pertinent information in order to be considered for any federal loans.  For students who wish to apply for federal student loans, you will need to complete a FAFSA using the following website: Boston University’s Federal School Code is 002130.  In addition to the FASFA you will also need to complete a Stafford Loan Request Form which is available at:  (scroll down to the 2nd bulleted point in the text) or by contacting the Graduate School Financial Aid Office at 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 112, Boston, MA 02215 (Tel: 617-353-2696 or email: Federal loan decisions are usually made in mid-July for graduate students beginning study in September and in mid-December for those beginning in September.

For students who wish to borrow credit-based loans, it is advised that you begin the loan process at least 6 to 8 weeks before the first day of classes.  To view a list of a few private lenders and their websites, visit the following link:  Since these loans are credit based it is strongly suggested that each applicant be aware of his/her credit history.  Adverse credit may mean a negative decision for your loan application.

The Office of Rental Property has a listing of available Boston University apartments.  Their website is: For information regarding additional apartments available on the Charles River Campus, please call them at 617-353-4101.  Off-campus housing information can be found at:

The Sports Pass will automatically be charged to your student account if you are a full-time Charles River Campus student. The Sports Pass will allow you admission to 18 home men’s ice hockey and 18 home women’s ice hockey games, as well as 11 home men’s basketball and 11 home women’s basketball games (a $350 value).

For individualized information regarding your sports pass, or to cancel your sports pass, visit the Student Link. You may deduct the Sports Pass charge from the balance you remit if you list the cancellation on your invoice stub.

Once you are registered, you can obtain a student ID from the Terrier Card Office.  Student photo ID cards (Terrier Card) are issued at the Terrier Card Office, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Lower Level. Your student account does not have to be settled in order to obtain your student ID card.  You must present a picture ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport).  Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.

A student who is registered for a semester and decides not to attend must officially take a leave of absence or withdraw. Mere absence from classes does not constitute a withdrawal. A leave of absence should be taken when the student intends to return in a future semester; a withdrawal indicates a decision to permanently leave the University. Charges are canceled in accordance with the published refund schedule, based on the effective date of the withdrawal or leave of absence.

more information

Links for computing resources on campus, as well as information on where to obtain support for your personal computer can be found at

Information Services & Technology Information

Campus map

— Information about Boston University and the city of Boston

— The Educational Resource Center provides students with the services and resources for developing personal and academic skills

— Information regarding campus safety can be found at the BU Police Department’s website

— The Dept. of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PERD) offers programs and facilities for numerous forms of physical activity

— If you plan on driving a car to classes, you should take a look at the Office of Parking Services’ website

— Boston University houses a number of libraries on campus and you’ll make use of at least one of them during your time here

Information Services & Technology provides general-access computing and communications facilities for the entire University community

— The Geddes Language Center provides a wide range of instructional media services for students

Student Health Services offers a number of health-related services including counseling to the University community

— The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a student-run advocacy group for Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students

— Finally, information regarding Boston’s rapid transit system, the MBTA, or simply, the T, can be found on the MBTA website.